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Technical Paper

A New Ignitior for Large-Bore Natural Gas Engines - Railplug Design Improvement and Optimization

2005-04-11
2005-01-0249
It is a very challenging problem to reliably ignite extremely lean mixtures, especially for the low speed, high load conditions of large-bore natural gas engines. If these engines are to be use for the distributed power generation market, it will require operation with higher boost pressures and even leaner mixtures. Both place greater demands on the ignition system. The railplug is a very promising ignition system for lean burn natural gas engines with its high-energy deposition and high velocity plasma arc. It requires care to properly design railplugs for this new application, however. For these engines, in-cylinder pressure and mixture temperature are very high at the time of ignition due to the high boost pressure. Hot spots may exist on the electrodes of the ignitor, causing pre-ignition problems. A heat transfer model is proposed in this paper to aid the railplug design. The electrode temperature was measured in an operating natural gas engine.
Technical Paper

Engine Friction Reduction Through Liner Rotation

2005-04-11
2005-01-1652
Cylinder liner rotation (Rotating Liner Engine, RLE) is a new concept for reducing piston assembly friction in the internal combustion engine. The purpose of the RLE is to reduce or eliminate the occurrence of boundary and mixed lubrication friction in the piston assembly (specifically, the rings and skirt). This paper reports the results of experiments to quantify the potential of the RLE. A 2.3 L GM Quad 4 SI engine was converted to single cylinder operation and modified for cylinder liner rotation. To allow examination of the effects of liner rotational speed, the rotating liner is driven by an electric motor. A torque cell in the motor output shaft is used to measure the torque required to rotate the liner. The hot motoring method was used to compare the friction loss between the baseline engine and the rotating liner engine. Additionally, hot motoring tear-down tests were used to measure the contribution of each engine component to the total friction torque.
Technical Paper

Impact of Railplug Circuit Parameters on Energy Deposition and Durability

2003-10-27
2003-01-3135
A railplug is a new type of ignitor for SI engines. A model for optimizing energy deposition in a railplug ignition system is developed. The model is experimentally validated using a low voltage railplug ignition circuit. The effect of various ignition circuit parameters on the energy deposition and its rate are discussed. Durability of railplugs is an important factor in railplug circuit design. As for all spark ignitors, durability of a railplug decreases as energy deposition is increased. Therefore recommendations are made to minimize wear and increase durability, while depositing sufficient energy to attain ignition, using a railplug.
Technical Paper

Effect of Fuel Parameters on Emissions from a Direct Injection Spark Ignition Engine During Constant Speed, Variable Load Tests

2000-06-19
2000-01-1909
A 1998 Toyota Corona passenger car with a direct injection spark ignition (DISI) engine was tested at constant engine speed (2000 rpm) over a range of loads. Engine-out and tailpipe emissions of gas phase species were measured each second. This allowed examination of the engine-out emissions for late and early injection. Seven fuels were used for these tests: five blended fuels and two pure hydrocarbon fuels. These seven fuels can be divided into groups for examination of the effects of volatility, MTBE, and structure (an aromatic versus an i-alkane). Correlations between the fuel properties and their effects on emissions are presented. Use of steady state tests rather than driving cycles to examine fuel effects on emissions eliminates the complications resulting from accelerations, decelerations, and changes of injection timing but care had to be taken to account for the periodic regenerations of the lean NOx trap/catalyst.
Technical Paper

Fuel Spray Dynamics and Fuel Vapor Concentration Near the Spark Plug in a Direct-Injected 4-Valve SI Engine

1999-03-01
1999-01-0497
The mixture preparation process was investigated in a direct-injected, 4-valve, SI engine under motored conditions. The engine had a transparent cylinder liner that allowed the fuel spray to be imaged using laser sheet Mie scattering. A fiber optic probe was used to measure the vapor phase fuel concentration history at the spark plug location between the two intake valves. The fuel injector was located on the cylinder axis. Two flow fields were examined; the stock configuration (tumble index 1.4) and a high tumble (tumble index 3.4) case created using shrouded intake valves. The fuel spray was visualized with the engine motored at 750 and 1500 RPM. Start of injection timings of 90°, 180° and 270° after TDC of intake were examined. The imaging showed that the fuel jet is greatly distorted for the high tumble condition, particularly at higher engine speeds. The tumble was large enough to cause significant cylinder wall wetting under the exhaust valves for some conditions.
Technical Paper

The Effect of In-Cylinder Wall Wetting Location on the HC Emissions from SI Engines

1999-03-01
1999-01-0502
The effect of combustion chamber wall-wetting on the emissions of unburned and partially-burned hydrocarbons (HCs) from gasoline-fueled SI engines was investigated experimentally. A spark-plug mounted directional injection probe was developed to study the fate of liquid fuel which impinges on different surfaces of the combustion chamber, and to quantify its contribution to the HC emissions from direct-injected (DI) and port-fuel injected (PFI) engines. With this probe, a controlled amount of liquid fuel was deposited on a given location within the combustion chamber at a desired crank angle while the engine was operated on pre-mixed LPG. Thus, with this technique, the HC emissions due to in-cylinder wall wetting were studied independently of all other HC sources. Results from these tests show that the location where liquid fuel impinges on the combustion chamber has a very important effect on the resulting HC emissions.
Technical Paper

The Effects of Fuel Composition, System Design, and Operating Conditions on In-System Vaporization and Hot Start of a Liquid-Phase LPG Injection System

1998-05-04
981388
A liquid-phase port injection system for liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) generally consists of a fuel storage tank with extended capability of operating up to 600 psi, a fuel pump, and suitable fuel lines to and from the LPG fuel injectors mounted in the fuel rail manifold. Port injection of LPG in the liquid phase is attractive due to engine emissions and performance benefits. However, maintaining the LPG in the liquid phase at under-hood conditions and re-starting after hot soak can be difficult. Multiphase behavior within a liquid-phase LPG injection system was investigated computationally and experimentally. A commercial chemical equilibrium code (ASPEN PLUS™) was used to model various LPG compositions under operating conditions.
Technical Paper

Fuel-Spray/Charge-Motion Interaction within the Cylinder of a Direct-Injected, 4-Valve, SI Engine

1998-02-23
980155
The mixture preparation process was investigated in a direct-injected, 4-valve, SI engine under motored conditions. The interaction between the high-pressure fuel jet and the intake air-flow was observed. Laser-sheet droplet imaging was used to visualize the in-cylinder droplet distributions, and a single-component LDV system was used to measure in-cylinder velocities. The fuel spray was visualized with the engine motored at 1500 and 750 rpm, and with the engine stopped. It was observed that the shape of the fuel spray was distorted by the in-cylinder air motion generated by the intake air flow, and that this effect became more pronounced with increasing engine speed. Velocity measurements were made at five locations on the symmetry plane of the cylinder, with the engine motored at 750 rpm. Comparison of these measurements with, and without, injection revealed that the in-cylinder charge motion was significantly altered by the injection event.
Technical Paper

Condensation of Fuel on Combustion Chamber Surfaces as a Mechanism for Increased HC Emissions from SI Engines During Cold Start

1997-10-01
972884
Condensation of fuel vapor on the cold surfaces within the combustion chamber is investigated as a possible mechanism for increased HC emissions from SI engines during cold start. A one-dimensional, transient, mass diffusion analysis is used to examine the condensation of single-species fuels on the surfaces of the combustion chamber as the pressure within the cylinder rises during compression and combustion, and re-vaporization during expansion, blowdown, and exhaust. The effects of wall temperature, fuel volatility, and engine load and speed on this mechanism are also discussed. This analysis shows that low-volatility fuel components can condense on the surfaces of the combustion chamber when the surface temperatures are sufficiently low. This condensed fuel may re-vaporize during the power and exhaust strokes, or it may remain in the combustion chamber until surface temperatures rise, perhaps tens of seconds later.
Technical Paper

Mixture Preparation During Cranking in a Port-Injected 4-Valve SI Engine

1997-10-01
972982
This paper presents the results of an experimental investigation of the fuel-air mixing process in a port-fuel-injected, 4-valve, spark-ignited engine that was motored to simulate cold cranking and start-up conditions. An infrared fiber-optic instrumented spark plug probe was used to measure the local, crank angle resolved, fuel concentration in the vicinity of the spark gap of a single-cylinder research engine with a production head and fuel injector. The crank-angle resolved fuel concentrations were compared for various injection timings including open-intake-valve (OIV) and closed-intake-valve (CIV) injection, using federal certification gasoline. In addition, the effects of speed, intake manifold pressure, and injected fuel mass were examined.
Technical Paper

In-Cylinder Fuel Transport During the First Cranking Cycles in a Port Injected 4-Valve Engine

1997-02-24
970043
Fuel transport was visualized within the cylinder of a port injected four-valve SI engine having a transparent cylinder liner. Measurements were made while motoring at 250 rpm to simulate cranking conditions prior to the first firing cycle, and at 750 rpm to examine the effects of engine speed. A production GM Quad-4 cylinder head was used, and the stock single-jet port fuel injector was used to inject indolene. A digital camera was used to capture back-lighted images of cylinder wall wetting for open and closed intake valve injection. In addition, two-dimensional planar imaging of Mie scattering from the indolene fuel droplets was used to characterize the fuel droplet distribution as a function of crank angle for open and closed intake valve injection. LDV was used to measure the droplet and air velocities near the intake valves during fuel induction. It was found that with open-valve injection a large fraction of the fuel impinged on the cylinder wall opposite the intake valves.
Technical Paper

Development of a Semi-Detailed Kinetics Mechanism for the Autoignition of Iso-Octane

1996-10-01
962107
A reduced autoignition mechanism for iso-octane has been developed by identifying paths to formation of the stable species measured during motoring knock experiments and eliminating paths to formation of species that were not measured. The resulting mechanism includes low-, intermediate-, and high-temperature reactions and consists of 103 species and 131 reactions. This mechanism differs from detailed models not only in the number of reactions and species, but most importantly, in the nature and rates of the degenerate chain branching reactions. To implement this mechanism, a knock subroutine has been added to a quasidimensional spark ignition engine model that accounts for heat losses, blowby, etc. Thus, errors in the reactivity predictions can be assigned almost exclusively to the kinetics. Numerical predictions of the exhaust composition during motoring knock are compared with experimental measurements as a function of compression ratio for several operating conditions.
Technical Paper

Combustion Modeling in SI Engines with a Peninsula-Fractal Combustion Model

1996-02-01
960072
In premixed turbulent combustion models, two mechanisms have been used to explain the increase in the flame speed due to the turbulence. The newer explanation considers the full range of turbulence scales which wrinkle the flame front so as to increase the flame front area and, thus, the flame propagation speed. The fractal combustion model is an example of this concept. The older mechanism assumes that turbulence enables the penetration of unburned mixtures across the flame front via entrainment into the burned mixture zone. The entrainment combustion or eddy burning model is an example of this mechanism. The results of experimental studies of combustion regimes and the flame structures in SI engines has confirmed that most combustion takes place at the wrinkled flame front with additional combustion taking place in the form of flame fingers or peninsulas.
Technical Paper

Diluents and Lean Mixture Combustion Modeling for SI Engines with a Quasi-Dimensional Model

1995-10-01
952382
Lean mixture combustion might be an important feature in the next generation of SI engines, while diluents (internal and external EGR) have already played a key role in the reductions of emissions and fuel consumption. Lean burn modeling is even more important for engine modeling tools which are sometimes used for new engine development. The effect of flame strain on flame speed is believed to be significant, especially under lean mixture conditions. Current quasi-dimensional engine models usually do not include flame strain effects and tend to predict burn rate which is too high under lean burn conditions. An attempt was made to model flame strain effects in quasi-dimensional SI engine models. The Ford model GESIM (stands for General Engine SIMulation) was used as the platform. A new strain rate model was developed with the Lewis number effect included.
Technical Paper

A Multidimensional Numerical Model for Turbulent Premixed Flames with Fractal Geometries

1995-10-01
952386
We present a multidimensional numerical model that calculates turbulent premixed flame propagation, assuming the flames have fractal geometries. Two scaling transformations, previously developed for laminar flames, are used to incorporate the fractal burning model in KIVA-II1, a numerical hydrodynamics code for chemically reactive flows. In this work the model is implemented for propane/air mixtures. For applications to internal combustion engines, we have also developed a fractal model for early flame kernel growth. Our multidimensional model can be used in experimental comparisons to test postulated fractal parameters, and we begin this task by comparing calculated results with measurements of propane/air combustion in a spark ignition engine. Good agreement is obtained between computed and measured flame positions and pressures in all cases except a low engine speed case.
Technical Paper

Examination of the Factors that Influence the Durability of Railplugs

1994-03-01
940201
A new type of ignitor, the railplug, shows promise of extending the dilution limits for spark ignition engines. While much of the effort expended in our study of railplugs has focused upon demonstrating their effectiveness, it is recognized that railplug durability is presently not acceptable for production engine applications. The goal of the present study was to examine the factors that affect durability. The results of two types of investigations are reported. The effects of rail materials, pressure, delivered energy, and voltage at constant delivered energy on electrode erosion rates were studied for repeated firings in air at constant pressure. Railplug durability in a four-stroke SI engine was also evaluated, including examination of the effects of delivered energy, current pulse characteristics, and materials.
Technical Paper

Three-Dimensional Numerical Simulation of Flame Propagation in Spark Ignition Engines

1993-10-01
932713
Multi-dimensional numerical simulation of the combustion process in spark ignition engines were performed using the Coherent Flame Model (CFM) which is based on the flamelet assumption. The CFM uses a balance equation for the flame surface area to simulate flame surface advection, diffusion, production and destruction in a turbulent reacting flow. There are two model constants in CFM, one associated with the modeling of flame surface production and the other with the modeling of flame surface destruction. Previous experimental results on two test engines charged with propane-air mixtures were used to compare with the computations for different engine speeds, loads, equivalence ratios and spark plug locations. Predicted engine cylinder pressure histories agree well with the experimental results for various operating conditions after the model constants were calibrated against a reference operating condition.
Technical Paper

Effects of Engine Speed on Combustion in SI Engines: Comparisons of Predictions of a Fractal Burning Model with Experimental Data

1993-10-01
932714
Predictions of the Fractal Engine Simulation code were compared with SI engine data in a previous paper. These comparisons were extremely good except for the single data set available at a low engine speed. Because of uncertainty regarding whether the lack of agreement for this case resulted from some difficulty with the experimental data or was due to lack of proper speed dependence in the model, additional comparisons are made for a range of speeds from 300-1500 rpm. The fractal burning model is a turbulence driven model (i.e., driven primarily by the turbulence intensity) that divides the combustion process into four sequential phases: 1) kernel formation, 2) early flame growth, 3) fully developed turbulent flame propagation, and 4) end of combustion. The kernel formation process was not included in the previous version of this model, but was found to be required to predict engine speed effects.
Technical Paper

Fractal Analysis of Turbulent Premixed Flame Images from SI Engines

1992-10-01
922242
Researchers in the field of turbulent combustion have found fractal geometry to be a useful tool for describing and quantifying the nature of turbulent flames. This paper describes and compares several techniques for the fractal analysis of two dimensional (2-D) turbulent flame images. Four methods of fractal analysis were evaluated: the Area Method, the Box Method, the Caliper Method, and the Area-Caliper Method. These techniques were first applied to a computer-generated fractal image having a known fractal dimension and known cut-offs. It was found that a “window” effect can cause the outer cut-off to be underestimated. The Caliper Method was found to suffer from noise arising from the statistical nature of the analysis. The Area-Caliper Method was found to be superior to the other methods. The techniques were applied to two types of flame images obtained in a spark ignition engine: Mie scattering from particles seeded in the flow and laser induced fluorescence of OH.
Technical Paper

Predictions of Cyclic Variability in an SI Engine and Comparisons with Experimental Data

1991-10-01
912345
An investigation of cyclic variability in a spark ignition engine is reported. Specifically, the predictions of an engine code have been compared with experimental data obtained using a well-characterized SI engine. The engine used for the experimental work and modeled in the code is the single cylinder research engine developed at Sandia National Laboratories and now operating at Drexel University. The data used for comparison were cylinder pressure histories for 110 engine cycles gathered during operation at a single engine operating condition. The code allows the various factors that could influence cyclic variability to be examined independently. Specifically, a model has been used to independently examine the effects of variations in equivalence ratio and of the turbulence intensity on cycle-to-cycle variations in the peak cylinder pressure, the crankangle of occurrence of peak pressure, the flame development angle, and the rapid burning angle.
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